Back to Back SAC Champions

The Sault High Varsity Blue Devils won their second consecutive conference championship Tuesday night in St Ignace. Rescheduled due to unfavorable UP weather earlier in the season, the Blue Devils were paired up against St Ignace first, and then Rudyard to determine who would win the conference title. The first match up between the Sault and St Ignace was during their season opener and it ended in a tie, with the Blue Devils winning by exception. 

Chase Tracey (106) put the Blue Devils on board first with a void, but then St Ignace took the next four weight classes due to the Blue Devils not having wrestlers to send out to the mat because of holes in the roster, illness and injury. Caleb Klier (138) put the Blue Devils back in gear with a pin over Blake Martin (4:43). Brett Siesel (144) followed with a pin over Liberty Cullen (1:06). Will Ohman (150) wrestled up two weight classes and beat Gabe Werkheiser by decision (1-0), in what was considered a “pivotal match” by Assistant Coach Brendin Cryderman. St Ignace’s Jax Lipnitz countered, and pinned Brady Rondeau (157), bringing the score to Sault 21, St Ignace 30. Marc DeWildt (165) pinned Kollin Bird, and Cody Russo (175) followed with a pin over Austin Roughton (5:05). Chris Kiekhaefer (190) won by void, and Calvin Aldrich (215) won by a pin over Jayce Causley (1:58). Sawyer Kuenzer finished the match with a pin over Mason Bird (0:59) making the final score Sault 51 and St Ignace 30.

The Sault wrestled Rudyard next, and Rudyard scored first, winning by void in the 120 lb weight class. Neither team had wrestlers to send out to the mat in the 126 and 132 lb weight classes. Klier (138) pinned Hunter St Andrew (2:40), and the Sault took the next two weight classes by void when Ohman (144) and Siesel (150) stepped onto the mat. Rondeau (157) beat Garrett Howland by decision (15-7), and DeWildt (165) beat Jackson Little by decision (10-1). Russo  (175) had the last match of the night, pinning Josh LaPonsie (2:23). Kiekhaefer (190), Aldrich (215), Kuenzer (285) and Tracey (106) all won by void. The final score was Sault 56, Rudyard 6.

Coach Cryderman continued about how important the dual victory against St Ignace was. “This win clinched the Straits Area Conference Championship for the Blue Devils for the second year in a row, a far cry from the 2020-21 season in which we were not able to field a team. The program’s resurgence can be attributed to both the efforts put forth by our wrestlers every day in practice and the unprecedented support from our community in recent years.”

The Blue Devils (23-2) will prep for team districts vs Escanaba and Marquette, which will be held in Escanaba this week, followed by individual districts in Gaylord next weekend. 

Katie Peabody, Staff Writer
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